Things to do in Barcelona
At the center of Barcelona’s old city lies the Gothic Quarter, a maze of narrow medieval streets packed with intriguing shops and cafés surrounding the Cathedral de la Seu, which is composed of Roman ruins and Gothic structures. Architecture buffs can’t miss Antoni Gaudí’s modernist structures, like Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Park Güell, and his masterpiece, the still-unfinished Sagrada Familia. Gaudí’s genius is represented in every imposing structure and whimsical detail of his constructions.
A walk down La Rambla is an unparalleled way to absorb the city’s energy. This tree-lined pedestrian street starts near Plaça de Catalunya and ends at Rambla de Mar, by the water. Find newsstands, souvenir kiosks, street performers and sidewalk cafés along La Rambla, and stop at La Boquería, a magnificent food market, for a bite to eat.
Head to Plaça d’Espanya, a grand square built the 1929 International Exhibition, to be welcomed by the Venetian Towers. Nearby, the Font Mágica de Montjuïc provides a beautiful spectacle of dancing fountains, lights and music in the evenings with the Palau Nacional in the background. For soccer fans, taking a tour of Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC, is a must. You’ll never run out of things to do in Barcelona.
The Gothic cloister is one of the city's most tranquil spots.
What to Expect: Located partly on a peninsula near the old-but-still-working harbor in the traditional fisherman’s quarter of town, this three-quarter-mile-long family- and tourist-friendly beach was once a funky, working-class area with to-die-for seafood restaurants.
Style-conscious men can find shoes, handbags, and accessories from labels like Jil Sander, Balenciaga, and Comme des Garçons at this guy-centric shop.
CCCB's most glamorous event, this electronic music and art festival draws more than 80,000 people each June - rave-happy twentysomethings and classical-music lovers alike.
Located near the University of Barcelona, this Eixample corner boutique sits on a stretch of retailers that caters to the young and stylish.
Pick up the sweet-savory pan-con-tomate bonbons from Willy Wonka–like pâtissier Carles Mampel.
Ask a sophisticated Barcelona native where he'll be this weekend, and the answer is often the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB).
Down a narrow stone alley in Born, near the Cathedral Santa Maria del Mar, designer Beatriz Furest's handbag store is marked only by a simple white flag bearing her name.
For one-stop shopping, Corte Ingles sells everything from maternity wear to marcona almonds. Located on the main square of Plaza Catalunya, this Spanish institution, founded in 1934, boasts nine floors of retail goods, including a supermarket, pharmacy and travel agency.
There can be a long wait to get in, but it's worth it, if only to see the extensive collection of portraits by the artist when he was a young man. Chart the artist's remarkable career from early childhood through his Cubist canvases and the whimsical ceramics of his final years.
Catering to the city’s fashionable set, Muntaner 385 is an upscale men’s clothing store that stocks designer garments and accessories in an ultra-stylish, multilevel shop in the Eixample district.
The hillside neighborhood of Pedralbes, in northwestern Barcelona, is full of 19th- and early-20th-century mansions (built by textile barons and industrialists), but its crowning glory is the serene 14th-century cloister Monestir de Pedralbes.
Design aficionados will appreciate the two-storied Vinçon. It carries furniture and decorative objects for every room—except the bedroom; that's around the corner at spin-off shop Tinçon.
Stock up on buttery bread loaves studded with dried fruits and nuts.